A nation of seals off the coast in South Africa
Photo: Ben Kempas

Building Your Nation

Are you running a grassroots campaign, or organising a more 'traditional' release? Have you thought about where your audience will come from?

We believe that all filmmakers – and especially independent documentary makers – should build their own ‘nations’ of supporters. Identify your audience base, engage and expand it, and develop it into your greatest asset.

Let's turn your film(s) into a movement

At Film & Campaign, we love the community organising system NationBuilder. NationBuilder is best known as political organising software – it’s been used by everything from the Yes campaign for Scottish independence to the UK’s fledgling Women’s Equality Party, and helped the election of Emmanuel Macron by solidifying support for his newly-formed party La République En Marche. However, we’ve identified that the innovative software also works brilliantly to build audiences for the films we work on.

Ben Kempas, founder of Film & Campaign, has been a certified NationBuilder Architect since 2012 – and the only one who comes from a background in documentary filmmaking. While this means he sometimes needs to hire external developers for more complicated code, he comes with a deep understanding of the specific needs of the documentary industry. That said, Ben's services are not limited to clients in the film world, and he really knows his way around NationBuilder themes, page types, style sheets, and the specific Liquid template language.

So how does it work?

NationBuilder allows you to integrate

  • all content management (film and company websites),
  • your own supporter database (audience relations and industry contacts), 
  • a campaigning toolset (including volunteers forms, surveys, petitions),
  • communications (email, calls, social media),
  • event management (screenings and crowdsourced events)
  • and donation drives (crowdfunding).

With NationBuilder, all these channels feed into a main database where you can keep track of prospects, supporters, volunteers, donors, and recruiters.

Built-in tools for your campaign include petitions, endorsements, surveys, volunteer roles, crowdfunding, and memberships. Any calls to action are featured prominently across the platform.

Depending on your budget, we can build your NationBuilder website based on an out-of-the-box theme, as a customised theme adaptation, or completely bespoke, built from the ground up. Have a look at the examples on this page to get an idea of what’s possible. We will either adapt your project's existing artwork or work with a dedicated graphic designer who will develop your bespoke look.

Get organised

NationBuilder's toolset is very powerful, but it is essentially just that: a set of tools. Even with all its automation, it won't do complete magic, and it can seem rather complex at times. You will need to work these tools. But don't worry! We can help you get the most out of NationBuilder by

  • refining your messaging to make it relevant to targeted, segmented groups from your supporter database, taking into account locations and previous interactions,
  • easily identifying your strongest supporters and prioritising engagement with them,
  • setting up follow-up procedures and point person assignments so you never lose a lead,
  • creating specific landing pages to measure traffic and recruit supporters, allowing you to evaluate how well your communications and advertising are working
  • integrating third-party apps for further advocacy tools, more complex data input, or video-on-demand platforms.

As independent expert, Ben can train you and your staff – or actually organise your campaign – on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

There are a wealth of add-ons not available to NationBuilder customers out of the box that we can implement, such as display of related contents at the bottom of each page, VOD players that feed signups or purchases straight into your database, site search engine integration, or user-specific website content (so you could show different calls to action for users you know have seen the film and those who haven’t).

As you can probably tell, we think it’s great, and it gets results. We could go on... or you could just get in touch now. And get a free initial consultation over the phone or in an online meeting.

BIKES VS CARS

Website for WG Film, Malmö

Film & Campaign transformed the old Bikes vs Cars website into a modern, responsive, easy-to-edit NationBuilder site with slideshows for videos, Instagram and meme.
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CITY OF TREES

Website for Meridian Hill Pictures, Washington D.C.

A new custom theme, based on graphic design by Dizzy Giant, for "DC's community-based documentary company". This is for a film about green jobs and justice – or how "hope can grow anywhere".
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MY LIFE MY LESSON

Website for Film and Tell, Stockholm/Oslo

Combining a strong center image with the latest NationBuilder theme, the film's website will raise awareness of kids witnessing domestic violence.
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GO STRAIGHT HOME

Website for Film and Tell, Stockholm/Oslo

NationBuilder setup gives members of partner organisations exclusive access to film. News & events sidebar. Entirely bilingual in single theme.
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DAVID MILLAR PROJECT

Website for Cycling Films, Edinburgh

Immersive visual language in a bespoke NationBuilder theme. Integration of form app for image uploads and forms with actual signatures.
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FREE LEOPOLDO

Website for Friends of a Free Venezuela, Miami

NationBuilder site upgrades for campaign to free Venezuelan opposition leader. Includes timeline of case history, editable like a blog. Bilingual.
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FUTURE MY LOVE

Website for SDI Productions, Edinburgh

Clean layout with animated fragments on home page. First built on Joomla, then moved to NationBuilder for full functionality. Distrify API.
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PABLO'S WINTER

Website for Opa Films / SDI Productions, Edinburgh

This is a good example how not every documentary film needs a huge campaign, but how a NationBuilder site can still be crucial for building and managing your long-term audience.
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I AM BREATHING

Website for SDI Productions, Edinburgh

Utilising all the NationBuilder tools: volunteer forms, blogs, event calendars, petition, donations, survey, maps, FAQs. Plus useful custom add-ons.
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BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!*

Website for WG Film, Malmö

Fredrik Gertten had filmed banana workers taking on the Dole Food Company. When the corporation tried to ruin the filmmakers, Fredrik built a movement for freedom of speech – using NationBuilder.
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STEM CELL REVOLUTIONS

Website for SDI Productions / Edinburgh University

Built in 2011, this was Ben's first-ever NationBuilder site, and the first European NationBuilder site for a film, as far as we're aware.
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Let's talk!